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Showing posts from July, 2013

Transform Yourself Into An Optimist

Every leader experiences periods of ups and downs. Hopefully, more up periods. If you struggle with too many down periods, it might be because you have perfectionist tendencies. Transform yourself into an optimist by: Viewing failure as an opportunity to learn and understand that failure is part of a fulfilling life. Making room for pain . Don't deny yourself permission to feel painful emotions. Setting standards that are attainable because they are grounded in reality . Don't set goals and standards that are essentially impossible to meet. You can learn more about being an optimist by reading the book, " The Pursuit Of The Perfect: How To Stop Chasing Perfection And Start Living A Richer, Happier Life " by Tal Ben-Shahar

The Five Lessons Into The Storm Teaches Leaders

Imagine navigating a tiny boat through a sudden, violent storm at sea -- with winds roaring at nearly 100 mph and waves soaring to 80 feet -- to not only survive, but triumph over formidable competitors in one of the world's toughest ocean races . It's a feat claimed by the crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler , overall winner of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart -- the most treacherous and tragic race to date in the six-decade history of Australia's iconic competition. As Dennis Perkins , an expert on thriving under daunting conditions, shows in his book, Into The Storm , it's also a feat rich in lessons for anyone tasked with maintaining smooth, effective teamwork -- and delivering winning results -- in the unpredictable, turbulent waters of today's business environment. Inspired by the Ramblers -- the Midnight Rambler 's team of one determined skipper and six dedicated amateur sailors -- here are five crucial strategies, with proven tactics , for Teamwork at T

Leaders: Still Making Progress On Your 2013 New Year's Resolution?

Which one of the 70 tips for how to become a more effective leader did you select as a 2013 New Year's Resolution?  This list was published last December in my blog, about the time many leaders were identifying their professional and personal goals for 2013. Hopefully, you're still making good progress with your resolution.  Unfortunately, according to research conducted by the University of Scranton, nearly 50% of those who make New Year's Resolutions will have abandoned them within six months .  And, only 8% will achieve their goals. Perhaps you've already achieve your goal!  Congratulations.  So, how about selecting another one from the list. 70 Ways To Be A Better Leader 1. Don't micromanage 2. Don't be a bottleneck 3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae 4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes 5. Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times 6. Conduct annual risk reviews 7. Be courageous, quick an

How To Really Listen

Here are some great tips from Michelle Tillis Lederman's book, The 11 Laws of Likability .  They are all about: what to do and what not to do to be a leader who's an effective listener : Do : Maintain eye contact Limit your talking Focus on the speaker Ask questions Manage your emotions Listen with your eyes and ears Listen for ideas and opportunities Remain open to the conversation Confirm understanding, paraphrase Give nonverbal messages that you are listening (nod, smile) Ignore distractions Don't : Interrupt Show signs of impatience Judge or argue mentally Multitask during a conversation Project your ideas Think about what to say next Have expectations or preconceived ideas Become defensive or assume you are being attacked Use condescending, aggressive, or closed body language Listen with biases or closed to new ideas Jump to conclusions or finish someone's sentences

Brian Tracy On How To Achieve Business Success

When you start reading Mark Thompson’s and Brian Tracy’s  book, Now…Build a Great Business! , you may feel like you are reading 200 pages of Blog posts, but the bite-sized approach to providing tools, practical steps and ideas, rather than theory, is precisely the authors’ intended approach. The book thoroughly explains the seven keys for how to achieve business success : 1. Become a great leader 2. Develop a great business plan 3. Surround yourself with great people 4. Offer a great product or service 5. Design a great marketing plan 6. Perfect a great sales process 7. Create a great customer experience You’ll find a checklist at the end of each step (each chapter) where you can write down your action plan for applying what you’ve learned. Particularly interesting is the chapter on strategic planning , where the authors recommend you should ask yourself these important questions before you act to create or reinvent the direction of your organization : • Whe

The Five Traits Of An Effective Leader

I was recently asked, " What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective ?"  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader. But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are : Good communicator . That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective. Being a servant leader . Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down. Adaptable . Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitiv

Coaching: What To Do And What Not To Do

Former Verizon Wireless CEO, Denny F. Strigl offers these tips for how to be a good coach to an employee. He explains that good coaches help performers by : Keeping them focused. Giving them objective, helpful feedback. Acting as a sounding board for new approaches. Identifying blind spots that may be holding the performer back. Reinforcing key values, principles, and behaviors that improve performance. Recognizing positive behavior and performance. Providing encouragement after setbacks and failures Setting "stretch" goals. Acting as an accountability partner. Strigl believes that some managers fail in their coaching roles because they : View coaching as babysitting. See coaching as only correcting performance. Don't spend enough time with their employees. Are reluctant to criticize. Have social relationships with their employees. Have a "sink-or-swim" philosophy. Believe coaching is not helpful or meaningful. "Coaching may actu

When To Be A Coach. When To Be A Counselor

A good manager is both a coach and a counselor .  Generally, coaching should precede counseling. As a coach , a manager: identifies an employee's need for instruction and direction and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals.  Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship. You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals.  It's best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified. As a counselor , a manager first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee's work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem. So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important.  And, as Sharon Armstrong furthe

New Book Loveworks Teaches How To Make Emotional Connections

  New Book Announcement:   Loveworks  is researched and written by Brian Sheehan , a professor of advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York. Sheehan is also a former  CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi  in Japan and Australia, and at Team One in Los Angeles.    But, before Loveworks :   In 2004, Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, wrote  Lovemarks: the future beyond brands . It was admired by many as a breakthrough in marketing thinking but was also controversial because of its surprisingly obvious thesis: that emotional connections are at the heart of sustained relationships between producers, retailers, and consumers.   While many companies were using the language of war in their marketing (target, penetrate, ambush), Roberts was using the language of love (mystery, sensuality, intimacy). In 2010  Advertising Age  magazine named  Lovemarks  one of their "ideas of the decade." Fast-fo